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Can anyone make money crafting anymore?Follow

#1 Mar 12 2010 at 3:10 PM Rating: Excellent
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Hello Tradeskill Forum!

Recently I've come across a need to dramatically increase my income (see my "status" below). Farming good ol' Pashhow Marshlands just doesn't cut it anymore as the gil/hour is no longer worth it. Who wants to spend 20-30 hours there just to buy that Emperor Hairpin, Horomusha Kote, or Enfeebling Torque?

Since I am still new, relatively inexperienced, and without a level 75 job, I can't yet pull off the notable farming feats described by great players (as in here for example). Making 200-300k per hour farming Sky is just not an option since I don't even have it unlocked yet. So, experienced friends of mine encouraged me to start doing a craft to increase my income.

Starting with Alchemy (perhaps a poor choice), I've leveled my skill up to the mid 20s. So far I'm not seeing any good profits even when farming materials (and even then, I could have made more money farming something else with the time I invested).

I understand that you need higher level skill to HQ on items as this helps with making profits. I understand that there's a lot more to making money off of crafting than just plugging the materials in and getting gold to come out. But after spending a couple of hours studying the markets on my server, checking where to get materials the cheapest, and calculating profit margins, the outlook does not look too great.

I've looked at a number of the "how to make gil" guides on this website and elsewhere and they all suggest crafting as a way to make gil, but I can't help but notice that all of those guides were written in 2004 and 2005. I've also read a number of more recent posts that talk about how the only way to make a profit nowadays is to have your craft leveled to 100 and HQ like crazy, because anything that you could make money on otherwise has been taken over by RMT and/or severe undercutting.

My question is this: am I making a huge mistake? Is it even possible to profit from crafting anymore, or am I just wasting my time and money?
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#2 Mar 12 2010 at 6:31 PM Rating: Default
I don't have answers to all of your questions, but last I knew the Empress Hairpin (the R/EX version of the Emperor Hairpin) was easy to get by someone at level 25 or so.
#3 Mar 12 2010 at 8:25 PM Rating: Decent
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GadsdenFromTitan wrote:
My question is this: am I making a huge mistake? Is it even possible to profit from crafting anymore, or am I just wasting my time and money?
Crafting is not for everyone and of course you'll have to start somewhere before you be able to make gil because some of the lower crafting levels tend to lead to losing gil. One way of making gil is leveling your crafts to what you farm like for mining having smithing and alchemy high enough can turn particular garbage clogging items into something worthwhile like iron ores into ingots and bomb ash and sulfur into firesand.
#4 Mar 12 2010 at 11:46 PM Rating: Decent
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Yes.

Level fishing.
#5 Mar 13 2010 at 2:55 AM Rating: Good
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Hello, I notice you're on my server. Welcome! If you have crafting questions and stuff and I happen to be online, feel free to ask me, and I'll see what I can do to help.

As far as your questions here go, I'd first like to recommend two very useful tools to help you make your way in crafting and making money.

http://www.ffxiah.com
http://www.ffrecipe.com/?lang=en

I like ffrecipe.com because of the power of customization of the list. This will help you choose which items to skill up on while you level your craft. Using this in tandem with ffxiah.com will help you either find profit synths while skilling up, or minimize your losses while skilling up. There are still synths out there below 60 that net positive gil without having to HQ. I encourage you to explore your options while you level up your crafts.

Now at the lower levels in crafts you probably won't be able to sit in front of the AH and just make 200k in an hour. One thing they're really good for is condensing your profit while you farm, just like Szabo mentioned. If your smithing and goldsmithing are leveled up and you go mining, you can take all that non-stackable ore and convert them into stackable ingots while you farm. This means less trips and better time savings, and we all know time is money.

One last thing I'd add is that you should look into diversification. There's tons of ways to make gil in the game still. Fine a handful of ones that you find super fun and cycle through them. If you like BCNMs, grab a friend or 2 and do ones like Under Observation. If you like fishing, make sure you level cooking and go to town. If you want a low intensity way of supplementing your income, check out Gardening. The list goes on.

Best of luck! =^.^=

Edited, Mar 13th 2010 3:57am by GTalbot
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#6 Mar 13 2010 at 4:39 AM Rating: Good
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Don't trust FFXIAH on a sale price just because you see a green number. Some synths simply never sell commonly, so the prices might even be set from an economic standpoint years prior. How many of a particular item sells a day can also be shakey, since it's at the mercy of data gathering's frequency.

As someone with 100+3 Alchemy, 60 in sub-crafts, and 50 Synergy, along with a Bonecraft mule that's capped with a leather sub, too, you're gonna be scraping and clawing with most anything you can make. And again, just because an item may list a profit, it doesn't mean you'll be able to (mass) produce them and walk away richer, particularly without competition in the field.

That said, you probably won't be able to give up farming entirely. Yes, scraping and clawing for multi-million gil items is a total pain in the **** in today's economy, and it's something I also hate, but if there is perhaps one guarantee with farming over crafting, it's that you never technically lose money (food/tool use aside). Eventually, you'll just have to comingle the activities, slapping some things on AH you may have crafted and waiting for them to sell while you farm other things.

I'm really hoping the cap increase introduces new gear that's reasonably fair to obtain while subsequently attacking some of the high-cost items that inevitably affect the economy in a trickle down manner. It's typically a mad dash for those things, so their prices usually go up while other stuff goes down because people are desperate for the coin to get to said items ASAP.
#7 Mar 13 2010 at 11:04 PM Rating: Decent
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I've had 100 bonecraft for about 3 years now, for the first 2 years or so, i thought i had wasted all my time leveling something worthless, eventually i finally taught myself how to make gil with it, to the point where i am close to obtaining a relic from nothing but bonecraft money.

so my point is, keep trying, you will learn how to utilize your crafts eventually .
#8 Mar 14 2010 at 7:38 PM Rating: Decent
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Whether you can make money off crafting will vary from server to server. For example, I have alchemy at 56, smithing and goldsmithing at 20-22. With this I can make bullets. That advantage of bullets is that the entire recipe can be made using NPC buyable ingredients. This makes the price of makng them remain constant. The downside of this is that unless there is inflation pushing the price of everything up, the synth becomes break even only if anyone with 100+ alchemy and 60+ smithing/goldsmithing descides to HQ synth these and sell them at NQ break even pricing. Same goes for things like silent oil and prism powder.

Alchemy used to be profitable a majority of the lvling process to 60 simply cause much of what was made was required in synthing consumable items. Now that the economy has deflated to the point where many items are worth more NPCed than AHed, most crafting is no longer profitable for me. The flip side of this is that anything than can be farmed and NPCed (or just farmed for gil like beastmen) is worth substantially more.

That said, I leveled alchemy at first cause I wanted to make my own bullets on RNG prior to the bullet pouch addition. The second reason is cause I actually enjoy crafting things since I like to be self sufficient. But with a deflated economy almost all crafting now rarely breaks even during skilling up. As such I just farm gil from beastmen and buy the stuff I need from people undercutting all the time. If they stopped and did the math they'd realise that all but the really expensive items make them so little in profits when undercutting that they could have farmed beastmen for more gil in the time they spent synthing.
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#9 Mar 16 2010 at 5:51 AM Rating: Excellent
GadsdenFromTitan wrote:
I can't yet pull off the notable farming feats described by great players ... Making 200-300k per hour farming Sky

Rule number one, don't always believe the numbers people post about EXP/Hr, gil/Hr, DMG/WS, etc... It's like real life fishermen, where the fish they caught tends to grow a few inches each time they tell the story... Smiley: sly

GadsdenFromTitan wrote:
Starting with Alchemy (perhaps a poor choice), I've leveled my skill up to the mid 20s. So far I'm not seeing any good profits even when farming materials (and even then, I could have made more money farming something else with the time I invested).

I understand that you need higher level skill to HQ on items as this helps with making profits. I understand that there's a lot more to making money off of crafting than just plugging the materials in and getting gold to come out. But after spending a couple of hours studying the markets on my server, checking where to get materials the cheapest, and calculating profit margins, the outlook does not look too great.

Well, you seem to have understood the basics of crafting and crafting for gil, which means you have to potential of becoming a great craftsman, eventually.

However, given the amount of players that have leveled crafting to some degree at this point in time, the main problem with crafting for gil is the competition. If there is something simple most every player can craft for profit, you can expect a lot of players to be doing it, thus producing a huge amount of the given result, driving down the prices. Hence, small profit margins or even no profit at all.

The key to crafting for gil is to find the niches in the market for which other crafters have trouble meeting the requirements.

You already gave the most obvious example of such a 'niche': high level crafting. The higher your level, the greater your chance of HQing, thus increasing your profit margin. E.g. for your lvl 20ish Alchemy, you will find it hard (if at all possible) to make a profit turning beehive chips into beeswax, because most other Alchemists are at Tier 3 (level 55+), outproducing you because they will consistently HQ the wax. The sheer amount of high level crafters has, at this point in time, resulted in NQ products (gear mostly) being sold at loss, because crafters are trying to make that gear+1 item to hit the big profit. Unless you can compete with them, stay out of this market segment.

A second way to explore niches is focusing on very specific requirements for certain synths, i.e. main craft/sub craft/key item combinations. A simple example for your Alchemist could be the silver bullet recipe, which requires you to also have Goldsmithing leveled to some degree, or the several elemental anima recipes which require the key item 'Anima synthesis'. A notorious example from the past would be the Noble's Bed for one of the Moogle Quests requiring Woodworking (78), Goldsmithing (50) and Clothcraft (56). The stranger (read 'more uncommon') the combination, the higher the chance you will only find a few crafters capable of doing that specific synth, hence lower competition and higher possible profit.

Making gil also means being able to 'read' the market. Many crafters make the mistake of jumping on what seems a promising product, only to flood the market and to realize half the server's population of crafters had about the same idea. Diversification is the key to making profit.

Finally, making gil relies heavily on profit margins. Evidently, your profit is determined by a lot of factors, amongst the most important are the total price of your ingredients, the amount of work needed to finish one unit of product, the selling rate of your product, the selling price of your product, the amount of gil lost on breaks and the probability (risk) of breaking, the required level of product (NQ, HQ1, ...) and finally the taxes you need to pay.

Some of these factors cannot be influenced by you. The selling price, for instance, is something you have little to no influence on. One small exception to this rule is products sold to NPC vendors: not all NPC vendors are alike! In some cases guild vendors offer more for a specific product than regular vendors. Vendors of your own nation might offer more too and in general you will get more from NPC vendors if you have high fame. All in all, these differences are small or neglectable (except the difference between guild vendors and regular vendors which can be up to 10% or more).

The selling rate, however, in some cases can be controlled. The most obvious example, again, is selling to NPC. Especially with regular vendors, who normally accept unlimited amounts of your product, the selling rate is only limited by your production rate. Most of the 'interesting' recipes for profit crafting to NPC stuff have been nerved by SE though (rusty caps or coffee muffins anyone?). What is left usually yields very low profit. Your Alchemist could probably make a few K/Hr selling holy water to NPC, if you can HQ the recipe.

Something you have more control over is the cost of your ingredients. Buying smart is the key here. If you can make a lot of gil (you define what 'a lot' is) farming the ingredients, by all means do so. Often however, it will be more efficient to just buy the ingredients and take a smaller profit margin. Often also, it might be more advisable to farm something different to sell and cover the cost of your ingredients over directly farming the ingredients. E.g. don't go farming sheep skins if you need 50 of them to make leather (which would take you hours probably), just farm a few K worth of other stuff to sell and use that money to buy the skins from the guild vendor (if you are lucky they are sold for about 70 gil a piece).

Reducing the cost of ingredients might also require crafting them yourself, perhaps even on another mule character, specialized in that particular ingredient. E.g. your Alchemist (at higher levels) is perfect for making the elemental anima your Bonecrafter or Goldsmith needs to make Reraise items. Crafting them might allow you to lower the price of the ingredients significantly (compared to buying from AH). Keep in mind though, that if you craft base ingredients yourself, you are also taking the risk of breaking. So, if you are only gaining a small amount crafting your own base ingredients, and a single break could potentially wipe out the profit you make synthing several stacks of product (e.g. water anima), consider buying instead of crafting yourself.

Buying smart, finally, also means picking the right time to buy base ingredients and stock up on them. Don't buy ingredients if the price is too high, unless the profit margin on your final product justifies the extra cost. Wait for the ingredient cost to go down again before buying. This also means you could (should) be buying ingredients you intend to use for profit crafting later on when their price has fallen dramatically and store them for future use. Of course, only buy them when you are fully confident the price will go up again eventually (which requires you again to be able to 'read' the market).

GadsdenFromTitan wrote:
My question is this: am I making a huge mistake? Is it even possible to profit from crafting anymore, or am I just wasting my time and money?

Unless you intend to become really, really good at crafting and understanding your server's market, don't expect to get filthy rich overnight from crafting.

It is generally not that hard to find a way to make profit from crafting, though, the question is, are you prepared to put in the effort for the profit you can expect out of it. The less effort you put into it, the lower your profit will be. If you are happy to craft for hours in a row, making 20K/Hr, I'm sure there are plenty of recipes to be found allowing you just that. On the other hand, if you are only willing to spend a few hours a week on crafting to make up for the 300K or more of expenses you have on average for your job leveling, ... good luck finding that niche.

Personally, I have leveled multiple crafts on my main and on several dedicated mules to as high levels as I could get them just for fun, because I generally like crafting. I never really crafted for money, although I found it a challenge to find a skill up path that would actually allow me to level my crafts at profit or at least break even. However, I now have the possibility to craft just about all the stuff my main needs (food, gear, furniture, ammo, weapons, ...) and every time I craft something myself, I am making a profit (because otherwise I would have needed to buy the same thing at AH prices). I can't put an exact number on that hidden form of profit, but over the 6 years I've been playing this game, I suspect it to be quite important.

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#10 Mar 16 2010 at 2:43 PM Rating: Good
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I can't yet pull off the notable farming feats described by great players ... Making 200-300k per hour farming Sky


This is like, off subject, but on subject I guess.

200-300K HR is doable in sky, but it takes skill and luck.

The 200K an hour lap is just Run to Zipancia, if up, kill, if not head to Faust, if it's up, kill it.

Zip's a mid level difficulty fight, I'd expect a new RDM to have trouble with it, and an experienced RDM to figure it out in 2~3 kills. I've killed it 10~15 times, and my typical kill time is 30~40 minutes.

Faust's a little tougher, though I personally feel the tough part is keeping my cool. He's a little longer of a fight than Zip just because he's not as easy to chainspell down. I'd say 40~50 minutes with a fair chance at even seasoned RDMs being defeated.

Both those bazaar over night in Rolanmart for 100K each.

After the Zipancia > Faust lap, if you still want to make more money, or want to hang out and check on them again in an hour or something, you can farm Groundskeepers for tabs for Augmenting and possibly spawn Despot.

Despot's an easy kill, less than 30 min fight, and the reward is 200~250K.

And if you really have time to spend, Ullikimi, or Diorite is another good thing to farm. I've killed Aura Statues for a whole weekend before and not seen Diorite, but I've also gone up with a friend and got 2 in 2 hours.

You can bazaar the Diorite, but I prefer to kill Ulli since it's a really easy fight and bazaar the stone for 500~600K.

So, if you use your time well in sky, and get lucky, 200~300K an hour is reasonable. But I've probably made enough trips up there and left empty handed that if I could add all the time spent and profit gained, it's more like 25~50K/HR if that, as well as many worthless augmented items.

I like sky because I like getting my gil in chunks instead of nickles and dimes.
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